Mayor Bill de Blasio and Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman announced last week that the Jay Street Busway in Downtown Brooklyn will be made permanent.
Began as a pilot program in August 2020 as part of the Better Buses Restart plan, the busway removed most private vehicle traffic from the gridlocked corridor and added dedicated bus lanes and protected bike lanes in both directions.
“Forty-seven-thousand of our fellow New Yorkers are enjoying faster, more reliable bus rides because of this busway,” saidGutman. “We’re transforming Downtown Brooklyn, getting cars out of the picture and focusing on our sustainable transportation future, transit, and cycling.”
The mayor praised it as an innovation that would improve quality of life in and around Downtown Brooklyn.
“Downtown Brooklyn deserves better bus service, and the Jay Street busway has already improved commutes for thousands of residents, workers, and students who rely on it every day,” he said. “It’s time to make it permanent and build on this progress to make public transit faster, safer, and more reliable for riders in every borough.”
Just last month, the mayor celebrated the soft opening of two new busways in Queens, accounting for stretches of Jamaica and Archer avenues.
Gutman also explained how the permanent bike lanes in Downtown Brooklyn will make for easier connections to the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge bike lane, facilitating more cycling traffic between the boroughs.
As for the buses themselves, the B26, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65 and B67 routes use Jay Street. The busway operates between Tillary and Livingston streets, where only buses and trucks are now permitted between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Local access for cars is allowed, but cars must enter from side streets. Bus-lane restrictions will be enforced by automated bus-lane cameras, both stationary and positioned on MTA buses.
“Making the Jay Street Busway permanent is terrific news for Brooklyn’s transit passengers,” said Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon. “So many of us use this busway every day to access the educational, business, medical, and cultural areas of Downtown Brooklyn.”